Then and Now

The purpose of this section is for alumni to submit photos and information about themselves to update fellow Alumni about what's going on in their lives.
We strongly encourage all alumni to submit their own letters and pictures by sending an email to

2LT  Jessica Christel

Medical Service Corps

                     Class of 2005

The following was a letter sent to cadets the Battalion in 2006:

Around this time last year I got a strange phone call on my cell phone.  When I answered, the caller just started singing “We have a rendezvous with destiny…”  I guess it really wasn’t all that strange, because it was just LTC Hilton calling to tell me that my first duty station would b Ft. Campbell, KY, and I’d be part of the 101st airborne Division (Air Assault).  Since the 101st is one of the most deployed divisions in the army, I knew right away that I’d be in Iraq within a year.  Oddly enough, at this time last year I was giving myself an ulcer trying to put together the Azimuth, on people into writing articles for the Wolverine Leader, and maintain accountability of everyone at Mini-FTX, and nowhere I am in Iraq.

So is it what I expected?  Yes and no.  I had hopes of busting down doors, clearing rooms, and becoming fluent in Arabic.  Much to my dismay, that’s not anywhere near what I’m doing now, but this is where the army needs me.  Right now I am a part of the brigade staff for the 101st combat Aviation Brigade.

So here is my advice to you, whether you’re getting commissioned in two months or in two years.  First of all, take advantage of every little bit of education you can get your hands on.  Soak up everything they teach you in ROTC, read Field Manuals, Army Regs, DA Pamphlets, everything.  Secondly, when you go to your first job at your first duty station, make it all or nothing.  As a 2LT you’re going to have to prove yourself, so go in there confidently and ready to take on whatever they throw at you (but don’t forget that you don’t know everything just yet of course).  And lastly, don’t forget where you came from…Leaders and Best!


COL Donald Hall, Medical Service Corps
                  Class of 1981
CPT Kristan Schoenfeld, Nurse Corps
                  Class of 2002

Colonel Donald Hall '81 ENG and Captain Kristan Schoenfeld '02 NUR are both assigned to the United States Army's 31st Combat Support Hospital, currently located at Forward Operating Base Camp Bucca, Iraq. Kristan is the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel (retired) David Schoenfeld '77 LSA and Catherine (Plachetka) Schoenfeld '79 NUR.

            1LT Andrew Kim, Armor
                   Class of 2004

The following was a letter sent to LTC Doyle, Assistant Chair, Wolverine Battalion in 2005:

Just thought I’d update you on how things have been going for me.  I did a year-tour in Mosul, Iraq with 1-24 Infantry as a MSG Stryker PL and got back end of Sept 2005.  I actually saw Luke Vermuelen there as well.  It was a pleasant surprise.  I think he said he was going to visit you during his R&R so I’m sure you’ve talked with him.  I was really blessed with having some of the best commanders the Army could offer.  We really kicked some ass over there in Mosul.  There’s actually a blog about our unit.  I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it but you can check it out sometime (

As for the future, I am headed for Ranger School in March and once I return from that, I’ll take over as HHC XO.  They usually send Armor officers back to the CAV Squadron but I’ve built a pretty good relationship with the BC and he’s given me the option to stay with 1-24.  We’re also headed for Germany in the summer to reflag as 2CR.  Not really looking forward to Germany but I guess it will be a nice change.                                     

          2LT Rob Ozburn, Aviation
Class of 2006

The following was a letter sent to cadets the Battalion in 2006:
Now that I've finished BOLC II and am now starting the first phase of flight school, I thought I'd pass on a summary of my experience at BOLC to give the cadets a heads up on the latest structure of the program. Because it is a new program, it is constantly being refined, so keep that in mind. When I first got to Ft. Benning, I reported in on a Sunday morning to the sergeant on duty, and he gave me a room, linens, and basically told me to hang out until Monday morning for PT. That's a great time to go to the PX and Clothing Sales and get all the basic stuff you'll need.

I suggest buying your own toilet paper b/c the platoon stuff is crap and the supply is never guaranteed, especially when you get out to the field. I also suggest buying a protractor from either Ranger Joe's or Commandos, making sure the cut on the grid scales is near-perfect for when you start land nav, a helmet sweatband and dough nut, and a personal blanket and pillow b/c the standard issue ones suck.

Also make sure you have a haircut day 1, because first impressions are important. In the first week, you'll be doing all of your in-processing.  Very boring. But make sure you come to all of the briefs with all of your paperwork, especially many copies of your orders. Have your direct deposit form already filled out and verified by your bank if it will be different from the one you receive your ROTC stipend from. Otherwise, they'll already have it on file and you won't need to worry about it. Just get yourself a little file folder with all your paperwork and you should be set. Take care of all AG and financial problems THIS week because once training starts, it'll be hard to find the time to get it taken care of. In the first week you'll also take your PT test; this is great opportunity to show your peers and the cadre that you care about your job and yourself, so come into BOLC already in shape and do your best. I should mention now that BOLC is not a rated course the way Warrior Forge is; you'll be given a final evaluation by your platoon mentor at the end of training and evaluations for every leadership position you hold, but they are designed to help you focus on your short comings. So don't get hung up on the evaluations, just do your best, especially when you're not in a leadership position so that your peers know you're a team player and they'll be willing to do the same for you when it's your turn at the helm. You'll have the weekends off for the most part, which is really nice. If you're at Fort Benning, you're close enough to Atlanta and Panama City to make a nice weekend out of it with a pass...just make sure you return back to base with enough time to be prepared and rested for Monday morning.

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